Carver’s Emma Simmons to take part in “A Shot For Life” charity challenge

CARVER- "A Shot for Life" charity challenge is an annual fundraiser for cancer research, founded by Watertown native Mike Slonina after he learned of his mother’s brain tumor diagnosis. Thankfully the diagnosis turned out to be false, but his passion to raise money for a good cause continued and was the starting point for the "Shot for Life" event.

To start, there’s a tryout process and only the best high school basketball shooters make the cut. The goal is for each contestant to raise $1,000. Carver High senior Emma Simmons crushed that goal year ago and is back to do it again this summer.

After finishing second for Player of the Year in the South Shore League this past winter, Simmons will take her talents to The U, otherwise known as Starland Sports Complex, in Hanover on Aug. 3 to compete and raise money for a tremendously worthy cause.

All the money raised from "A Shot for Life" goes directly to Dr. Curry of Massachusetts General Hospital to help fund his research lab. Curry has a strong connection to the hoop game as he is a former basketball player at Harvard University.

"This competition has had a big impact on me," Simmons said. "(Last year) I was one of the first sophomores ever picked to take part. I was honored to be part of something so prestigious, but also something that’ll also change people’s lives."

Carver High Girls Basketball Head Coach John Rozen has seen Simmons grow from the very beginning and admires the strides she’s made through high school as a young lady as well as an elite basketball player.

"I remember her as a little eighth grader. She’s come so far, she participates in everything. She’s matured a lot as a team leader and she’s everything we would want as a Lady Crusader basketball player," Rozen said.

"Two of Emma’s best games last year were against Blue Hills and Cohasset during our state tournament run," Rozen added. "There are colleges interested in her as her game steps up. She turns it up in the big moments. The great thing about Emma is that she’s played so many basketball games in her life, she’s seen it all. She doesn’t get nervous. She plays her game. She does her thing."

"A Shot for Life" is venturing into its seventh annual event. The winner of the challenge will be deemed "The Best Shooter in Massachusetts" and their jersey will be retired overlooking the court at the organization’s main office.

Slonina commented on what this program does for the benefit of the community.

"We’re putting this logo on a lot of incredibly talented players but more importantly we’re putting this logo on a bunch of really great people. Whether it’s in four years or twenty years, everyone will eventually play their last game. Being a part of this organization guarantees that their talent makes a mark on someone’s life. I’m proud that from this point on they will be representing our organization, our alumni, and our mission."

This is Simmons’ second time participating in the event as she concludes her junior year. To be narrowed down to one of the best shooters in Massachusetts is quite the feat for her and she’s looking to grow from these times competing against some of the best basketball players Massachusetts has to offer.

Her competition will come from as far as Groton, Wellesley, and Pingree High School in South Hamilton and as close as Pembroke. Simmons doesn’t shy away from the brightest spotlight and it’s very honorable to represent the little town of Carver on one of the biggest stages.